South Scotland MSP, Michelle Ballantyne, this week is calling on the Scottish Government to expand its distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front-line staff in NHS Lothian.
This comes after Scotland’s healthcare professionals launched a petition on Easter Sunday to urge the Scottish Government to improve its distribution of PPE. The petition already has over 350 signatories, including GPs, nurses and care assistants.
Last week, a report from NHS Lothian stated that, “across […] Scotland, the supply chains remain complicated and concerns remain that essential services may not have access to appropriate PPE requirements, as set out in relevant guidance.”
Concerns have also been raised about the safety of care home workers as the Chief Executive of Scottish Care, which represents more than 800 of the country’s 1,000 homes, stressed that the absence of appropriate PPE is putting staff at risk as absenteeism is rising and it is estimated up to 30 per cent of staff are currently unable to work.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commended the efforts of staff on the front-line who have put themselves at risk and has urged the Scottish Government to expand its distribution of PPE ‘by any logical means’.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“I’d like to express my unwavering gratitude to the almost 150 staff in NHS Lothian who have already tested positive for COVID-19 and the thousands of essential workers who are putting themselves at risk to tackle this epidemic.
“Whilst the Scottish Government has expanded its distribution of PPE, there is still a lot more that needs to be done to ensure that front-line staff have the equipment they need to treat patients and help vulnerable people during this challenging time.
“There has been a great response by local businesses to help meet the growing logistical challenges to provide PPE, hand sanitiser and other essential equipment and the Scottish Government must, by any logical means, work with domestic and international producers to ensure that front-line staff have access to PPE.
“This is an issue of the utmost importance and I will be raising the matter with the Scottish Government at the earliest possibility.”